Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming Election, in One Handy Place!

We’ll keep adding details as we have them; let me know of any errors or omissions. More excitement to follow.

View election results online from the Secretary of State’s office.

Candidates for the special election on Thursday, Jan. 3:

Ray Cox (Republican)
Kevin Dahle (DFL)
Vance Norgaard (Independence)

There will be a candidates’ forum on Thursday, Dec. 20 at The Grand.

51 Comments

  1. Tracy Davis said:

    Here’s an open letter from the Northfield League of Women Voters President, Kathy Tezla, posted on the LWV website:

    FOR YOUR IMMEDIATE ATTENTION!
    (This is a letter submitted to, but not yet published in, the Northfield News:)

    League of Women Voters Northfield Raises Concerns about the Special Election process for Neuville Senate Seat Vacancy

    To the Editor:

    To fill the District 25 state senate seat vacated by Sen. Tom Neuville, whom Governor Pawlenty appointed to a judgeship, the governor has called a special election on January 3rd . There will also be a primary election on December 18th, less than a week from now.

    The League of Women Voters believes that eligible voters have the right to be informed about candidates’ positions, the right to vote, and the right to have their vote counted. Scheduling an election immediately after a major holiday season protects none of these rights for many voters.

    There is a real possibility that it may be difficult if not impossible for significant numbers of absentee voters to obtain and return absentee ballots by mail in time for them to be counted.

    You are entitled to vote by absentee ballot, if you:

    * will be away from home on Dec. 18th or Jan. 3rd (for example, a senior citizen who has gone south for the winter, a student in transit to or from school, a person traveling over the holidays);
    * are ill or disabled;
    * are an election judge serving in a precinct other than your own; or,
    * are unable to go to the polling place due to religious observance or belief.

    The easiest way to vote by absentee ballot is to do so in person, at your county auditor or city or township clerk’s office, as soon as ballots are available. (How to vote absentee.) IF YOU MUST VOTE BY MAIL, YOU MUST OBTAIN YOUR BALLOT AS SOON AS IT IS AVAILABLE AND RETURN IT IMMEDIATELY.

    Special elections scheduled because of an emergency such as the death of an office holder may be unavoidably ill-timed. But elections scheduled under other circumstances that give, or appear to give, one political party an advantage over another, erode citizens’ confidence in our election process.

    Kathy E. Tezla, President,
    LWV Northfield

    December 13, 2007
  2. Holly Cairns said:

    what do you mean “Republican” TBD–

    December 14, 2007
  3. Curt Benson said:

    Holly, I think that means “to be determined” because the Republican candidate will be determined by the primary. Dahle has no DFL challengers in the primary.

    December 14, 2007
  4. Holly Cairns said:

    Oh, yes, I see one was for the election on the 3rd.

    Hmm, How can those names be on the ballot for the election? I thought the independents had to have a certain percentage of the vote to be listed on the ballot… maybe only for president… who knows?

    I thought she was saying something about the primary that I didn’t know…

    you know, one of the candidates is always claiming he’s so much like a democrat, I didn’t read well and wondered if he jumped parties and was going to jump in as a Democrat.

    December 14, 2007
  5. Jon Denison said:

    Independent is the name of a legally recognized party in the state of MN. That is based on the percentage of votes cast for that party in the last election or some such thing. I’m not quite sure of the specifics. But, it is an often mis-interpreted noun when referring to candidates in elections. For state elections I believe one must state a party affiliation when running, and in MN that is recognized as Republican, Democrat or Independent.

    December 14, 2007
  6. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve had three reputable citizens tell me this week that someone is setting up van pools so that St. Olaf and Carleton students who live in the Twin Cities can easily get to Northfield to vote in the primary on Tues, ostensibly to vote for either Swenson or Tietz in an attempt to knock Ray Cox out of the race. If true, it’s a shitty thing to do, IMHO.

    I called Kevin Dahle’s campaign manager, Ray Coudret, to see if he knew anything about it. He didn’t.

    Anyone know anything about this?

    December 15, 2007
  7. Holly Cairns said:

    Hi, must be Tietz or Swenson that’s organizing it? Have you checked with the college Republicans? They might know who is behind it. Just a suggestion. I’m just a webmaster, but I asked and my connections didn’t know anything about it.

    Although, in my opinion, college students have a voice and a vote that is just as important as mine… if someone chooses to vote here for the four years and follows the politics and is concerned about what is going on… we shouldn’t get irked if they want to vote. That means they are more comfortable with local politics instead of what happens where they are living, I think.

    A good citizen is informed, votes and cares about self AND others.

    December 15, 2007
  8. Holly Cairns said:

    Oops, I should have said “That means they are more comfortable with local politics instead of what happens where their parents are living, I think.”

    December 15, 2007
  9. John Thomas said:

    This is so frustrating!

    As John Q. Public, average citizen, I just heard about this, and got 2 or 3 mailings from Ray Cox already. (That was fast Ray! Did you already have them printed?)

    It’s just frustrating. The schedule is so compressed, that the average citizen has no time to react, or research the candidate.

    It really feels that this was planned, and has highly political motivations to it. It is enough to make you vote against the party that is in power, just because it has this feel to it.

    I am still an “independent” thinker, so I would like to have some time to review the candidates. Problem, the primary is Tuesday. I need to make sure I vote after work.

    Griff, can you change the VOTE! Reminder at the top of the page, so everyone remembers to vote in the primary on Tuesday? It is just as important as the election in January.

    Also, if you are a door knocker for a political party or other lobbying organization, please don’t bother me right now. It’s a year from the election. I really do not want to hear about your candidates, your cause, or be added to your “citizen who is concerned” list. All this is going to do is increase the calls, and four color mailings that go straight to the recycle bin.

    I think that Northfield should have an ordinance, which states that the doorknockers cannot start until 90 days before the election, just as the yard signs cannot be put out until 90 days prior.

    It is far too early in the process. The fact that Iowa votes in just a few days, and we are going to be bombarded by the media for the next year, is enough to make you want to move away, or find a cave somewhere. I almost feel that the media has already decided who we should vote for anyway. 😎

    We need to focus on what is important. Holidays and family… not politics. This is just another wonderful thing we can thank our Governor for.

    December 15, 2007
  10. Patrick Enders said:

    Republican or Democrat, I hope the town’s college students turn out for the special election (and all elections) in well-informed and interested droves. The timing of this election is, uh, interesting, and if it therefore takes a shuttle to get students to the polls, then good!

    This special election is about a state office, and the state legislature makes decisions which directly impact students’ lives. Heck, even local politics has a great impact on students’ lives (rental code, anyone?).

    Like many of us, I’ve spent a good chunk of my life as an adult student in several cities. I care deeply about each of them, and was an informed voter who voted carefully in each. I voted not just for the sake of my personal interests as a student, but with a sincere consideration for what I felt was best for that city as a whole.

    Let’s give the students the benefit of the doubt regarding their motives, and be thankful that they are exercising their citizens’ responsibility to vote.

    December 15, 2007
  11. Scott Oney said:

    It may be a little late now, but does anyone out there know anything about the other two Republicans in the primary? I e-mailed them both last week. I’ve gotten nothing out of Swenson, and from Tietz only a request for my address and phone number. They may both be good candidates, but I see no reason to vote for either one only on the basis that he’s not Ray Cox.

    And Griff, re your post #6, why would Carleton students be interested in the Republican primary, anyway? Are you suggesting a dirty trick based on the assumption that Cox is the only Republican that can win? If so, the joke could be on them. One of the other candidates could play well, especially outside of Northfield.

    December 17, 2007
  12. Bob Ewing said:

    Political gamesmanship? In a primary?

    I am shocked . . . SHOCKED that politics is going on in our fair city.

    If you happen to believe that T-Paw woke up one fine morning and decided that Tom Neuville would be an excellent replacement for a judge who had retired months before, and that January 3 would be a perfectly fine time for all interested parties to vote . . .

    Then you should be shocked, too,.

    PS : Griff, you should offer LG cred to anybody who can work Claude Rains’ other great line in to this thread.

    “You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust . . .”

    December 17, 2007
  13. Griff Wigley said:

    Reminder: Today’s the last day to vote via absentee ballot for tomorrow’s primary.

    December 17, 2007
  14. Paul Fried said:

    I question the ethics (for Griff) of talking about a rumor regarding a DFL attempt to throw the Republican primary. If there’s hard evidence this has been done – and is not organized by the Carlton and/or St. Olaf student Republican groups — then fine, talk about it.

    Otherwise, it sounds like 2004 all over again, and very Rovian: Take a rumor, or some baseless claim, and blow it up as a smear campaign. Take a false claim like the 2004 claim that serving pie at a campaign function is bribery according to MN election law (it was not, it is not, and you’d have to give out food and beverage worth $5 or more for such stuff to be illegal now). Blow it up, get loyal Cox fans to repeat it often enough, and you have yourself a nice little smear campaign, like the Republicans used against Max Cleland, or like Bush used against McCain.

    Meanwhile, let’s not talk about how much Cox’s low-bid on the remodeling job for the Northfield News saved the paper (more than a slice of pie) just before Ray interviewed for, and got, the paper’s endorsement in 2004, an endorsement he never should have received if the paper had been following basic professional journalistic and editorial codes of ethics. Ray should have been brought up on charges of violating MN statute 211B, which prohibits giving anything of value in exchange for editorial favoritism. And the Northfield News should have been investigated under the same law.

    Instead, Griff, take a rumor about bussing college students to the primary, and circulate it. The Bush campaign did this — with degrees of separation — before the primaries against McCain, who adopted dark-skinned daughters from India. Circulate pictures of McCain with his dark-skinned daughters to white churches in the deep south where McCain would be perceived as a “nigger-lover.” Or rumors about how the incumbent Democratic Governor of Texas was a Lesbian. Right.

    By circulating such rumors, you can promote an image of Cox, not as a “man’s man,” but as the eternal victim of those unfair Democrats. Oh, milk it for all it’s worth. Or have a Republican be the first to write a letter to the editor, complaining about their stolen lawn sign. Go on the offensive. First impressions do make a difference, so send in that first letter. Those poor, victim Republicans.

    The Republicans, who opposed adding a new tier to the income tax so that the tax burden would be distributed in more equitable percentages across the board, need to boost their image as victims so they can win elections. Those poor Republicans! Just like their president, who has always been merely a victim of bad liberal press, never a breaker of the law, never a liar! And the Republican majority that followed him, lock-step! They were patriots, now victims! Blame it on the liberal press, like FOX news! They have that Hannity guy! Must be his fault!

    Don’t consider for a moment that the photogenic California Governor, Arnold, might consider all this promotion of the victim image a “girly-girl” tactic….

    Meanwhile, we could spread a rumor that Neuville, who called David Bly’s ideas socialist and described them as “forced redistribution of wealth,” has started a McCarthyist smear campaign against Dahle, portraying him the way the questionably-sane Wisconsin Senator might have portrayed him.

    So then we’d have competing victims: Fun.

    Push the rumors. To heck with any sort of ethical backbone for citizen journalists.

    Did you hear the rumor about what Dahle said in the classroom the other day, or about Cox’s daughter or brother-in-law? Lots of juicy rumors out there.

    I hear that Republicans are having their children heckle Mr. Dahle in the classroom! It’s shameful! Those Republicans have no sense of ethics or morality! They’re wasting the education funding of taxpayer-dollars, heckling that sincere, hard-working teacher, who is only trying to teach our children, regardless of the political affiliation of their parents!

    Or — oops! Is that just a baseless rumor?

    Shall we trivialize the election with distractions?

    Come on. You folks should know better.

    Griff, you should know better. Clean it up, please. When you help Ray with his blog, you should not be posting this kind of tripe here. We’ve come to expect better, and that’s a good thing. Don’t chase half of your fans away with such poor judgment.

    If you open the door to unsupported rumors, that can be a two-edged sword that could cut both ways. You don’t want it to get ugly here with that sort of stuff, do you?

    December 17, 2007
  15. Tracy Davis said:

    Paul, I’m sorry you’re disappointed, but Griff and Ross and I have all been accused of rumor-mongering at various times. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with asking, “Does anyone know anything about this?” when we hear something and are looking for substantiation or refutation of whatever the issue is. Generally we’re each cautious about putting out anything that doesn’t come from a relatively credible source.

    Griff’s question obviously pushed a button in you to provoke such a rant. 🙂

    December 17, 2007
  16. Jon Denison said:

    Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that Ray Cox name is featured prominently several times in The Everett Report connected with Lee Lansing in unethical negotiations pushing for a municipal liquor store at 600/618 Division St?

    Just one of those “things that make you go hmmm”.

    December 18, 2007
  17. kiffi summa said:

    Two things really disturb me about comment#17…
    1. Ray Cox was in the negotiation discussion because he was an involved party because of his construction firm. that’s period. There should be no false implication of the propriety of him being there… and as much as I value Ray, I have never voted for a Republican.
    2. I have never gotten an answer to this question… if the city council, and you, Jon, felt that the 600 Division site was so unethical, or so fraught with “unethical’ pressures, why did the entire city council CONTINUE to identify that site until late spring, 2007?

    December 18, 2007
  18. Holly Cairns said:

    Paul said:

    Take a rumor, or some baseless claim, and blow it up as a smear campaign.

    We need music to go with that. You’re a rapper, Paul. A rapper!

    It might not have been a “smear campaign” at all but a simple question. Tietz and Swenson might be behind it– did you read my post #7? Can’t that be a viable option? Tietz or Swenson organizing the college vote to back a strong Republican?

    Of course, asking if the Dems organized van pools to bring students to the primary isn’t an implication of anything too bad, really. While I am thinking about it, Is anyone organizing a van pool for the elderly who can’t get to the polls? I hate it when people wnat to but can’t use their voice.

    Hey, it’s primary day down there! Good luck all of you. Don’t forget to vote. I live too far north to be involved (already have my own Senator).

    December 18, 2007
  19. Anne Bretts said:

    In response to comment 18.2, I think the council was trying for the better part of a year to work with the mayor and try to resolve things without humiliating him with a public rebuke. It seems they were all well aware of his financial problems, and of his inappropriate tactics. But they also were aware of the possible value of the site for a liquor store, so they were hoping the mayor would understand his mistakes and correct them on his own so they didn’t have to eliminate the site from consideration. By spring it became apparent that there was no way to reconcile the mayor’s behavior with proper process and the ethics code. Even this fall, the council gave the mayor the option of simply stepping away from running meetings to avoid asking for his resignation.
    In hindsight, the council and staff should have filed formal charges on the ethic violations from the very beginning. In trying to avoid confrontation, the council only made matters worse for the city, giving the impression there was confusion and paralysis. The paralysis was caused by their hope that the mayor would follow through on his promises to recuse himself. It looks like the kind of behavior co-workers and friends have when someone is disrupting the workplace and everyone should call him out but just keeps hoping he will come to his senses.
    Ironically, the mayor’s site might have worked. Now, however, his attempts to force it on the city will eliminate it from consideration and likely cost the mayor his project and quite possibly his job.

    December 18, 2007
  20. Paul Fried said:

    Tracy: Rant, buttons, yah, I s’pose. Maybe I’m a dreamer, but I’d really like to see Ray and his supporters stick more to issues instead of pie, distractions, etc. We all know Ray loves to play the victim (through surrogates/supporters, degrees of separation, as Rove recommends), but he just goes too far.

    Also, I usually don’t mind when you, Ross and Griff ask the question, “Does anyone know about this?” when it’s inoffensive stuff. In fact, I appreciate it at times. Keep doing it when it’s helpful and you don’t cross the line.

    But I could see how you’d get criticism. If it might hurt someone’s business, then you deserve the criticism. Absolutely. If it seems like political rumor-mongering before an election, and by the guy who helped Ray get started with his blog, then it has clearly crossed the line.

    If it’s “Did anyone hear whether Cropwalk is going to hold some alternative activity indoors in case of rain,” then ask away. More power to you. And thanks for the service of asking the right, helpful questions. But know where to draw the lines.

    You should not dismiss all complaints of rumor-mongering as if they’re all the same, and you’re used to them, experienced at dismissing them, so that’s that. They’re not all the same. Call a spade a spade.

    If the rumor is worth printing when it’s election-related, then you might as well say who claimed it. Was it Ray, Doug Jones and Tom Neuville (3 credible sources?) speculating about bussing student voters? (Yah, right). Was it speculation, or rumor? If it was these three, where did they hear it, and what did they actually hear? Why not ask the three “credible sources” more questions to find out more information before posting a rumor? Come on. You don’t have to be a professional journalist to dig a little with 3 credible sources. Make a phone call. make three.

    It’s bogus. Nothing like a benign Cropwalk question. Admit it. A smoke-screen is a smoke-screen. There was Watergate, which was bad enough, but then there was the cover-up, which, as they say, can sometimes get you into more trouble than the original crime. Any “been there, done that, we’re experienced at this” blanket dismissal on this is cover-up and baloney.

    If it’s wrong in some forms, the fact that the three of you are very experienced at it doesn’t make it right in those situations where you’ve crossed the line. Some people employed in “the world’s oldest profession” are very experienced too. Experience, in itself, doesn’t make it right.

    But maybe we could make baloney sandwiches. As long as you don’t rumor-monger, let’s all be civil about it over baloney-sandwich lunch. I’ll bring the mustard, maybe some pickles. Some good bread from Brick Oven. Mmmm. Anyone reading this, let me know if you’re interested. A sandwich lunch, and we can talk about helping Locally Grown develop more clear ethical guidelines about how to call it–how to know when asking a question about a rumor is OK, or when it might damage someone’s business, hurt an election, or constitute libel, etc. We have some lunch, we discuss, we charge nothing for our consulting fee, and we offer it as a gift to our friends at Locally Grown, who are usually wiser than this, and who provide a great service, so we figure we owe them. We have some fun in the process. Sound like a plan? Let me know if you’re in. The mustard and pickles are definitely on me.

    Let’s invite Tom Neuville, too, who was on an ethics committee. But not Ray, who put in that lowest bid, in spite of M.S. 211B, and still can’t see what was wrong with it. I don’t think he’d have much to contribute to the discussion, but hey, if he showed up while we were having lunch, it’s a small town, and we can’t afford to be un-neighborly. I’d let him pull up a chair.

    Holly: Yes, it would be nice to think that Dems could organize a “get out the vote” and have it seen as a service instead of a conspiracy. But y’know those Republicans; most have been supressing their conspiracy theories for six years (or more), so they love to “call the kettle black” as they say. (And thanks for the “Rap” compliment. I’ll have to work on that genre.)

    December 18, 2007
  21. Tracy Davis said:

    Paul, any time Griff, Ross, or I open our mouths, people can misunderstand what we say.

    Why would you assume that asking a question about a *possible* attempt at primary ballot-box stuffing would reflect negatively on any particular candidate?

    My assumption, when I first heard the rumor, was to think it was a rogue effort and, like underdone pasta thrown against a wall, didn’t stick to anything.

    Based on your two previous rants, I now assume you’re a rabid partisan Democrat and I wonder why you’re working so hard to smear Cox. Oh, wait… it’s because you’re a rabid partisan Democrat. Oh, okay.

    December 18, 2007
  22. Jane Moline said:

    Regarding comment 21–right on , Paul.

    Regarding comment 22–yeah, it is your blog Tracy, but the the “rumor” was definitely a Ray Cox sympathy ploy, even if it wasn’t intended that way by Griff–and the Ray Cox supportors believe he is the only one who can win so they believe all of us rabid Democrats would come up with those dirty tricks–(and Holly is right, it could back fire and put a real contender on the ballot. )

    However, in spite of Pawlenty manipulating the election date to favor Republicans, we are stuck with the rule-makers that were elected. So everybody make sure you get out and vote on January 3rd so that whoever is elected will have a real electoral majority and not a manipulated victory.

    Remember, it was college students who gave us Jesse Ventura–they are a serious part of the vote and I, for one, am glad to hear of any voter seriously working to make sure they get to vote in every election.

    December 18, 2007
  23. Paul Fried said:

    I see what you mean about misunderstanding.

    When I first moved to town, I voted for Neuville. There are some Republicans I like, and I’ve said so in print, but yes, some of them live in other states. “Rabid partisan”?

    I know professional codes of ethics are sort of nurdy and out of style, but call me old fashioned. I think the News should have done better, and Ray should have known better than to go against what MS 211B requires. But hey, I know the trend nowadays is to resort to euphemisms about torture, so I know I’m out of date, but who knows? Laws and ethics may come back in style someday without it attracting to one labels like “Rabid Partisan.”

    I’m really a conservative at heart in that way, law-and-order, ethics, etc.

    Even the John Birch Society ran an editorial advocating the impeachment of Bush, you know. You have to get out more, Tracy. One poll says 13% of Republicans favor impeaching Bush. It takes a lot more than being against certain Republican candidates to make one a “Rabid Partisan.”

    Or are you always fair in applying relaxed standards when you use that label?

    I mean, call me rabid, call me Democrat, call me looney, but partisan?

    You haven’t heard me talk about Republican John Duncan after he opposed the war, or Maine’s Senator Olympia Snowe, when she and Sen. Rockefeller opposed Exxon’s disinformation campaign against global warming.

    Gosh, I try to find every opportunity to say nice things about Republicans, but you know, they just don’t make it easy.

    Here’s what Griff wrote:
    “I’ve had three reputable citizens tell me this week that someone is setting up van pools so that St. Olaf and Carleton students who live in the Twin Cities can easily get to Northfield to vote in the primary on Tues, ostensibly to vote for either Swenson or Tietz in an attempt to knock Ray Cox out of the race. If true, it’s a shitty thing to do, IMHO.”

    Here was your question:
    “Why would you assume that asking a question about a *possible* attempt at primary ballot-box stuffing would reflect negatively on any particular candidate?”

    Well, for one thing, there’s ballot-box stuffing, Chicago style (vote early, vote often), which might reflect negatively on ANY candidate besides Cox in this case, and it would be illegal, to boot. I’m agin’ it.

    (But that’s old-fashioned me with my thing about election law and codes of ethics. See, you’re bringing out the conservative-values side in me again….)

    Even if you’re just talking about the milder, more general definition here of ballot-box stuffing, Northfield Colleges style, the term tends to be derogatory, doesn’t it? If anyone is doing it, YOU seem to assume that it would be wrong.

    Or am I assuming too much?

    So if I’m not assuming too much, it would reflect negatively on Swenson, and/or Tietz, and/or Dahle.

    Maybe all three of them are collaborating on the bus rental! Which would, at least in Griff’s view, be, well, compared to excrement, IGHO. Isn’t that enough?

    And besides, you’re dodging the issue about when to ask questions about rumors, and when not to.

    (Tracy: You’re good at misdirection! You should be in politics! There’s money to be made there!)

    Who’s interested in the baloney lunch to discuss where to draw the lines? I’ll bring along copies of the codes of ethics for journalists and editors, and we’ll see if any might be applicable to citizen journalism (which can, if you like, also be ethical, and I’d recommend it).

    December 18, 2007
  24. Tracy Davis said:

    Paul, the only “ethics” I subscribe to in my participation in Locally Grown is the legal proscription against libel. What I say is just opinion, and is protected speech. I won’t agree to any other bogus pseudo-professional media standard, “ethical” or no, and I’m not interested in getting together for a self-improvement session with your baloney.

    So, Paul (and Jane), I’m interested in your impression that Locally Grown has somehow become a big Republican party blog. I think the impression is inaccurate, but I find it interesting. Griff and Ross and I will no doubt have a good laugh about the irony. However, this particular incident doesn’t cause me to think “we” or (Griff, in posting the question), have done anything wrong. I wouldn’t avoid doing it again.

    If you don’t like those “ethics”, then I’m sorry, we’ll miss you.

    December 18, 2007
  25. Evan Rowe said:

    Hi Griff,

    I’m heading up the Carleton Democrats get-out-the-vote efforts for the January 3rd special election. My Google Alerts led me to a troubling comment that you made on the “Everything You Need to Know About the Upcoming Election, in One Handy Place!” post. Specifically, you cited “three reputable citizens” who suggested that “someone” was trying to bus in Carleton and St. Olaf students to knock out Ray Cox in the GOP primary.

    First of all, it’s categorically untrue, as far as I know, and I think I know most of what’s going on with student get-out-the-vote efforts on at least the Carleton campus. I think that you are right that such a maneuver would be a “shitty thing to do,” and I personally deplore party-switching as a primary “decapitation” strategy. It’s undemocratic – and I think that students in Northfield have developed their sense of ethics and community awareness to a point that we collectively know that one, it would be wrong, and two, it would be destructive and highly disrespectful to town-gown relations.

    On a broader level, though, I take issue with the tone of your post. It may not be intentionally written to do so, but the effect to me seems to incite anti-student reaction by portraying us as outside invaders, gleefully trying to unnaturally alter the course of an election. An “us-vs.-them” mindset is a terrible thing to foster, particularly when we’re talking about an issue as important and touchy as voting rights for college students here in Northfield. Student political organizations (or whoever you were suggesting might be behind this) are not here in an attempt to use methods of dubious legality to do the bidding of (undefined) political masters from far away, but rather to advocate and organize for the candidates and policies we support, just as any Northfielder has the right to. And that’s what we do.

    Your post also suggests some desperation on our part – and let me assure you, nothing could be farther from the truth! The Carleton Democrats, for one, relish the chance for open political discussion and debate, and look forward to putting forth our candidate against whoever the Republicans choose. We believe that, after the facts are presented in a clear and honest manner, Kevin Dahle will win this race, whether the opponent is Ray Cox, Keith Swenson, or Rod Tietz. Although we find that the timing of the election (as you no doubt know, two days after the New Year, on the first day of classes at both colleges, and when significant portions of the St. Olaf student body are away on Interim study-abroad programs) is questionable, we are confident that Kevin Dahle is a candidate who all of Senate District 25 will support wholeheartedly.

    Finally, I’d ask if you tried to contact any of the students presumably involved in any such effort – I haven’t heard about any efforts at corroboration of the statements of the “three reputable citizens” from any of my peers, although I may not have talked to everyone. Although it’s true that blogs operate on a quicker pace than traditional media outlet, I hope that Locally Grown Northfield won’t become a space where rumors and hearsay run rampant, particularly on such a sensitive subject as student-community relations. I think we can agree that all of us have a responsibility to respect each others’ rights and to avoid unnecessarily inflaming passions.

    I hope that you’ll contact me if similar questions or issues arise in the future.

    December 18, 2007
  26. Jane Moline said:

    Oh, Tracy, I do not think this is a partisan Republican blog–only that I agreed with Paul’s interpretation of Griff’s comments—

    and I have to admit I was thinking of ways to knock Ray off the ballot myself–partly because I am such a strong Democrat and partly because I think a bigger Democrat majority might offset the Pawlenty stone-walling (although maybe not, as we see on the National level the Democrats rollover to Bush blather.)

    But I decided that if I went and registered as a Republican just to vote for somebody now, I would live to regret it in the form of those awful Republican junk mailings. (They are bad and the phone calls are worse.)

    I am proud to be a democrat and a liberal. I once respected Republicans, but I can’t remember why. Republican now stands for forcing religious law on the people (constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage; anti-choice so women comply with their religious beliefs.) And we have NO new taxes but spend and borrow, which is bankrupting our country and giving us fun infrastructure challenges, like the 35W bridge collapse.

    My suggestion for questions would be about each candidates position on amending the constitution to reflect religious laws, about making tough but unpopular decisions to raise taxes to fund schools and transportation, and how committed each candidate is to their party’s positions–(and if they even know their party’s position.)

    December 18, 2007
  27. Griff Wigley said:

    I’m following along and will have some comments later tonight or early am. I’ve got some fun stuff to blog first.

    December 18, 2007
  28. Paul Fried said:

    Tracy:
    Note who Griff said that he called:
    Not the campaign managers for the other Republican candidates, but the campaign manager for Kevin Dahle. Regardless of who I think the romor-passing seemed to smear, it would seem Griff was thinking first, and perhaps only, of Dahle’s campaign. He showed his hand.

    Regarding the new rumor that you’re floating in your more recent post, Tracy–the claim that Locally Groan has become too GOP–I don’t see anyone on this thread claiming this. Another thread? You guys been getting a lot of calls?

    We know Griff is a Cox cheerleader of sorts. Had a lawn-sign for Cox in ’06, featured on Cox’s site, which I do read on occasion in my more bipartisan moments.

    In your book, the lawn-sign and blog help might qualify Griff as a Rabid Partisan Republican. Or at least a Rabid Partisan Cox-supporter. I might contest this, but call him what you may. I attended one of Griff’s talks on blogging, and I found him kind, attentive, civil and informative. I like reading what he has to say here, regardless of what anyone says about Groan Locally being too Republican. (Who said that? I said Griff should not resort to politican rumor-mongering in regard to one post out of–how many? But who said LG is too Republican?)

    Ross is Ray’s brother-in-law, and Ross’s spouse told me in ’06 that one or both of them may have voted otherwise in one of the previous Cox-Bly elections, but they were both planning to vote for Ray in 2006. Still, I would hope no one would call Ross a Rabid Partisan Republican based simply on this much information, or you could call me a Rabid Partisan Republican too. Then I’d be dual-partisan, and therefore seriously conflicted, at least in the eyes of some.

    That leaves you, Tracy, and I have little sense of your political opinions, except that you ran defense for Griff’s recent lapse of judgment, which might lead me to think you’re going to vote for Ray, but I would not assume. The odds are much better than the Powerball, but I’d still say it’s too soon to tell.

    So if any other readers here think Groan Locally is just a front organization for Republicans, or for Cox, or that it’s anti-DFL, well, call me. I’ll give you a piece of my mind. I’m in the book. Tracy seems to think it’s unfair and not accurate to describe this blog that way, and as I’m in the doghouse with her, I figure it’s the least I can do. Take up the slack, lend a hand, you know. I may never hope to be in her good graces again, if I ever was, but at least maybe not this decade. Yet an effort to mend things is usually worth an attempt. I like to be hopeful. So give me a call, and I’ll run defense for Tracy against this outrageous claim that LG leans RPR (Rabidly partisan Republican). Or even MPR (Minnesota Public… er… Mildly partisan Republican.)

    Anyway, so Tracy has made known her RSVP on the baloney lunch offer, and she’s out, but if anyone else is interested, maybe we can come up with some good suggested guidelines for the ethics of rumor fact-checking at Locally Groan, and pass them along to Griff and Ross.

    There’s nothing that says blogs should be ethical, sure; they can just be opinion, even unethical opinion. But it’s the conservative in me, influenced in part by Griff’s advocacy of Citizen Journalism, that thinks it’s still OK, and not too nerdy, to be ethical in a Citizen-Journalism-way. (I’m listening to Griff’s better angels….)

    We’ll miss you, Tracy. It might have been fun. If Ray shows up, we’ll have him send you our regards. (Just kidding.)

    And Tracy, you won’t even have to look at our suggestions. We won’t even send you a copy if you don’t want ’em. I promise. But you can ask for a copy later if you change your mind. (Wink wink.)

    December 18, 2007
  29. Jane Moline said:

    Paul, regarding the lunch–how about veggie sandwiches? I don’t eat baloney, although I often spew it.

    December 18, 2007
  30. Griff Wigley said:

    Less than 3 hours to vote in today’s primary. I voted around noon at the NCRC since I’m now living in Ward 4. Election judge Alex Beeby wouldn’t let me take a photo inside the polling area so I got him to take my photo in the hallway.

    NCRC building Vote early vote often

    December 18, 2007
  31. John Thomas said:

    …and we can talk about helping Locally Grown develop more clear ethical guidelines about how to call it–how to know when asking a question about a rumor is OK, or when it might damage someone’s business, hurt an election, or constitute libel, etc. …

    I hereby nominate Paul’s quote for the as of yet un-established “Locally Grown 2007 Quote of the Year” honors, and task the “group of three” to make a new years resolution to take a look at this and establish some standards and guidelines to police themselves a bit.

    He has a point, and this could be an entire discussion thread, or even an IRL salon on its own.

    I don’t want it to seem like I am throwing virtual rocks, because I am not.

    However, in my opinion, there have been some interesting discussions, and there has also been some stuff that I, personally, thought was questionable to post. I don’t know if I would have posted some of those items, if it were me. It would take an IRL meeting, and discussions to see Ross, Tracy & Griff’s point of view on those items to better understand the ‘why’ behind the actions.

    How does one define standards, when one of the three judge things on a case by case basis, and not in consultation with the others? There are three names on the masthead here. You would think that two out of three experts should agree on some things before they go out…

    I like what Ross, Tracy, and Griff do most of the time. It’s just, that sometimes; I do not understand where they are coming from, and what drives them to step out on that limb from time to time. It just seems like a great personal risk at times, and I wonder what protections they have.

    Has a blogger ever been sued for libel? I guess that’s another thing to Google. I know from participating here, that I never want to run my own blog. 😎 I have always wondered what the personal liability is of running something like Locally Grown, and if you need to insure yourself in some manner.

    Just my $0.02… And wheat pennies at that.

    December 18, 2007
  32. Jane Moline said:

    My 2 cents–if they want to post it, it is their blog. If you want to make a bunch of rules, start your own blog. (I am not speaking for the revered 3-just MY opinion.)

    If these 3 had to get 2 to agree, we would have to at least double their salary and I think they would have to give up their day jobs. It seems to defeat the point of the blog, which is somewhat (I hope) spontaneous and more like a conversation than a Robert’s Rules of Order meeting.

    At the same time, we could always have a discussion of what we think Griff, Ross and Tracy should do. And then we could blog about what the city council should do. And then we could blog about what the police dept. should do. (Griff–this is not sarcasm. It is something else I just haven’t figured out what.)

    Terry Tofte said that when he came to Northfield, he learned there were more opinions than people. Then he left.

    I enjoy seeing what Griff, Tracy and Ross think, and I especially like to see someone get their licks in on Griff, as he is a slippery character to catch. (He rarely says anything with which to find fault-he sticks mostly with the facts.)

    December 18, 2007
  33. Tracy Davis said:

    Paul, I appreciate your sense of humor. I’m always willing to reconsider my opinions if I’m presented with new information.

    December 18, 2007
  34. John Thomas said:

    Jane,

    You call it rules… I call it standards and guidelines. I am just looking at it from the sense of being able to protect themselves. Perhaps “police themselves” could have had a better word choice. Robert’s Rules of Order would be overkill.

    As to doubling the salary, I am all for it! However, last time I checked… 2 x $0 still equals Pro-Bono.

    And you are correct as well, that it is thier own blog, and they can do what they want… however, with thier blog, they could potentially do harm to others.

    One must be very careful about what say, as if it is wrong… It could be viewed as a type of defamation, and therefore considered not to be opinion, but that of slander. It then it could get into a grey area with blogs. When libel is in a “broadcast media” form that could potentially reach a wide audience. At that point, it could be considered a libelous statement.

    I am not saying this has or has not happened. What I am asking of them is, “Has this ever crossed your mind that something you may post may ever become an issue, and how does one protect themselves from possible litigation, over a blog post?”

    I know that Tracy and Ross try to be very careful, and Griff lives on the ragged edge.

    My second question is, “Do you feel that as a group of bloggers, you are covered by the fact that you are simply stating opinion, and that is covered by free speech protections? If not this, then how?”

    I am just trying to understand it better… Freedom to blog is a free speech thing, but how does one protect themselves in these highly litigious times?

    I just wonder if between themselves, if they have some personally discussed standards, and places they won’t go… or if it truly is a free for all. I know from e-mail conversations, that they do try to confirm “rumors” as much as possible, but sometimes, you just have to run with it.

    I am just curious. I am just trying to understand Ross, Tracy, and Griff better.

    I must take the time this holiday week, to seek them out, buy them a cup of joe, and ask them in person… but maybe they may want to share thier perceptions here in the mean time.

    Again, not trying to call them out on anything, I just want to understand them better. I do like what they do…It is just sometimes I wonder about some of the posts.

    Jane, thanks for the viewpoint. It is what makes these discussions great. We can all learn from others views.

    -J

    December 18, 2007
  35. Jane Moline said:

    John: thanks for the comments–but you are misleading the reader by referring to “in these highly litigious times.” Unfortunately, you are simply repeating Republican talking points to undermine liability lawyers and lawsuits, aimed very specifically at John Edwards and in general at Democrats for attempting to maintain the rights of the little people to sue when wronged. There are frivoulous lawsuits, but they are infrequent.

    I think Griff was indiscreet in his question and I think we have all punished him here. I don’t know who would sue him–it is a bit murky. I think we may see some developing legal precedent in the blog-o-sphere, but I doubt it will involve our very own Locally Grown.

    It is always interesting, however, to discuss the ethics of having a blog and how it should/would keep itself on the right side of the ethical line–but I think it is a philosophical question–and I do not think it is my place to tell Griff, Tracy and Ross how to answer the ethical questions.

    (I did like how you said that Tracy and Ross are more careful in their comments than Griff–but I think it may be because Griff does more of the day-to-day blogging so you read more of what he writes.)

    Griff, Ross and Tracy–I read this blog because I enjoy your comments and most of your guest’s, too. Keep up the good work. Griff-so silent–cat got your tongue?

    December 18, 2007
  36. John Thomas said:

    Jane wrote:

    John: thanks for the comments–but you are misleading the reader by referring to “in these highly litigious times.” Unfortunately, you are simply repeating Republican talking points to undermine liability lawyers and lawsuits, aimed very specifically at John Edwards and in general at Democrats for attempting to maintain the rights of the little people to sue when wronged. There are frivoulous lawsuits, but they are infrequent.

    Jane, I am a free thinker, and I can assure you that had no intention of misleading the reader, or using anyones talking points. All I was saying, that it seems that everyone in the United States seems to have a lawyer on retainer and will sue at the drop of a hat.

    I do my ever-loving best not to expose my political affiliation, as I really do not feel I have one anymore. I do not like Republicans, and I do not like Democrats, and I feel that there some really wacky independants out there. Just because I post here, does not make me a republican, a democrat, or an independant. I am a free thinker, and claim no affiliation to any party. I however, vote every chance I get, as too many soldiers have died to protect that right.

    As to Griff’s post… I haven’t really thought about it specifically. I was more interested in the greater topic, so I have not had the chance to beat on the dead horse. I will wait, and beat on the next one. I am sure there will be more. 😎

    You did touch on exactly where I am going with this inquiry, and that is the ethics of having a blog.

    I have been really struggling with your quote though: (He rarely says anything with which to find fault-he sticks mostly with the facts.) Was that a bit tounge in cheek? 😎

    December 18, 2007
  37. Jane Moline said:

    John: I admire your free thinking, but please name five people with lawyers on retainer–no fair naming famous people-name those you know.

    It is exagerating and It incites fear in people to claim everyone is suing. It just is not the case. And I was a little tongue-in-cheek about Griff’s blogging–but why would I read it if he wasn’t saying anything?

    I would, however, love to see discussions on ethical behavior–would it be ethical for me, a left wing Democrat, to vote in todays primary in the Republican column in order to mess up their primary? It is not illegal–is it right? It would be very Rovian of me. ( I think it would be unethical, so I didn’t do it–but I did consider it before giving it up. )

    I also think politics are a mess–I think politicians, including the local ones, spend time worrying about getting elected than they do about actually doing their job. Each decision is based on whether they will come out right with who funds their next campaign instead of whether it is right for the people they are supposed to represent. Democrats right in there with Republicans and a few Independents, too.

    I really think that politicians have to decide what they believe –and go with a party that follows those core values rather than pandering to the vocal minority or the moneyed minority. Reality is that we have sold elections out, and election funding reforms are not working.

    December 18, 2007
  38. Anne Bretts said:

    I think a discussion of guidelines is crucial, in particular before the next city election. The discussion of the “crisis at City Hall” suddenly has gone silent, now that a completely independent investigation has cleared the council and Al Roder and laid the blame for inappropriate behavior squarely on the mayor. It would be nice to let this all just disappear, but the rumors and false information and accusations posted on this site over the last year were far more than a harmless exchange of opinion. Some remarks were designed to force an innocent man out of his job and destroy his career and protect an official who was abusing his position — and willing to take $20,000 in fees away from the city coffers to help his family. This was not a personality clash, it was a violation of the city code of ethics.
    And now, people are hoping this will all just go away.
    I love the other discussions here and I am so glad that City Hall is not the focus, but that should have happened months ago, not this week. The lack of interest — and outrage — by the triumvirate and regular city hall observers lends credence to the feeling that this was not an exercise in civic discussion, but an effort to protect the mayor at all costs. That may not be true, but that’s how it looks.
    This is not a newspaper and there is great room for opinion, but this experience should be a reminder than glib remarks have consequences. The council and Mr. Roder are owed apologies by many people. But how do you apologize for months of public ridicule and attack, for hours of televised lectures and harrangues at council meetings?
    Rotary has a policy called the 4-way test for repeating a comment: Is it the truth, is it fair to all concerned, will it build good will and better friendships, and will it be beneficial to all concerned.
    That’s a good starting point. I have been guilty of sarcasm and meanness, and I’d like to say it was all in response to the unfairness I have felt in the discussions here. Truth is, it is easy to slip from sharp insight to cheap shot, to grab a clever phrase instead of a boring but fair one.
    And this isn’t over.
    Look at how quickly things spun out on the election discussion.
    We have a long tough year ahead if we can’t find common ground on the issues of truth, fairness and respect. It would be good to start on the wings o holiday good will and new year’s resolve.

    December 18, 2007
  39. John Thomas said:

    Interesting Jane. I felt the same way. I will not tell you how I voted, but I did vote, and only because I was so confused as to who was and who was not on the ballot, that I figured the only way to find out, was to show up at the polling place.

    I honestly did not know there was only one person each in the democratic or independant columns.

    I don’t think you would be the only person that thought that way today, in regards to the republican party nomination for this office. In doing so, do you think it would be not about “messing up the republican primary” but more of voting, so that your canidate has a better chance in the general election between one canidate or another?

    One could say that it is unethical, and others could say its just politics. I am glad that you have strong ethics, and held yourself to a personal high standard.

    I cannot wait to see the results of the primary.

    December 18, 2007
  40. John Thomas said:

    Results are in:

    http://electionresults.sos.state.mn.us/20071218/ElecRslts.asp?M=LG&LD=25

    STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 25
    Independence Candidate Totals Pct
    VANCE NORGAARD 50 100.00

    STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 25
    Republican Candidate Totals Pct
    ROD TIETZ 649 21.34
    RAY COX 2029 66.72
    KEITH SWENSON 363 11.94

    STATE SENATOR DISTRICT 25
    Democratic-Farmer-Labor Candidate Totals Pct
    KEVIN DAHLE 462 100.00

    December 18, 2007
  41. John Thomas said:

    What I also find amazing, is that out of 50,934 registered voters, only 3,553 voted… right around 6.98 percent.

    Does that seem like a low number, or just because the primary only really involved a republican choice?

    I have nothing to base it on, so I thought I would ask. What is a typical percentage for a primary election, and a general election?

    December 18, 2007
  42. Griff Wigley said:

    Hi y’all. I’m heading to Buck Hill for a few hours of daytime snowboarding with my first-born son who arrived from NYC last night. I assure you that I’m reading everything and that I’ll have substantive responses to all the interesting issues you’ve raised here re: my posts, comments, and Locally Grown’s ethics and responsibilities. My ‘dad hat’ trumps my blogger hat for now.

    December 19, 2007
  43. Paul Fried said:

    Jane: Veggies sound good. I’m not sure I’d want even metaphorical baloney on my sandwich.

    John: Thanks for the 2007 Quote of the Year nomination. It’s a first for me. My press secretary will be releasing a statement later this week. (If I can hire one, pro bono.) And I hope the low primary turnout is no indication of what the turnout might be like for the special election.

    Tracy: Thanks for the compliment on my sense of humor. My kids are a tougher audience, so I need the practice.

    Anne: It’s good to see you raise the question of guidelines as it applies to discussion of City Hall issues. I confess I have been more focused on teaching than on much of the City Hall debate, here. Also good to hear you pass along the Rotary’s suggested guidelines for ethical passing-along.

    I agree with Jane that LG should be opinion and not held to strict professional guidelines, and yet in situations of real dialogue, people listen to, and are changed by, what unfolds in the conversation. So if John and I and Ann, and sometimes others, have raised the issue of guidelines and how blogging can be ethical (and how we can all become wiser with experience), then it goes against the grain of authentic conversation to claim one should bracket or avoid any fruits of what might come from a discussion about ethics.

    Besides the Rotary guidelines Anne mentioned, the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), and the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE) both have codes of ethics that, while professional, would not have to be applied rigorously, but might certainly offer some enlightenment that non-professionals (meaning everyone) might benefit from. The fact that they’re professional should not mean one can’t learn from them, or make their codes of ethics a “bogus pseudo-professional media standard” (Tracy, post 25).

    There’s also a blog called “The Ethical Blogger,” which describes itself as a project of Brown University, and, as you might imagine, explores issues of blogging and ethics:
    http://ethicalbloggerproject.blogspot.com/

    One of Griff’s big things is “Leadership Blogging,” and there’s a very natural overlap between leadership and ethics, or at least openness to ethical guidelines and their evolution.

    Tracy: Regarding “working so hard to smear”: If someone is spreading a rumor under the guise of “just fact-checking,” and if spreading the rumor–such as Griff’s ballot-stuffing rumor–carries a clear political benefit and conflict of interest, then we should be concerned, and the word “smear” would seem to apply. If it’s an issue of facts, and if the facts reflect poorly on a candidate, then the candidate simply has to deal with it.

    MS 211B is clear that candidates should not offer anything of value in exchange for editorial favoritism. If you look it up on the website of the Northfield News, Richard Osborne wrote a letter before the 2006 election questioning Cox’s construction company’s contract to remodel the News’ offices just before Ray interviewed for the endorsement, and an employee of Ray’s wrote a response, claiming that it was the lowest bid, so supposedly, that makes it fair. Yet in fact, a candidate winning via lowest bid just before receiving a newspaper endorsement should make us even more suspicious. It was poor judgment on both Ray’s part and the papers, but Ray has been unable or unwilling to see or admit the problem. If his opponent had done the same, you can bet he’d be howling. (I don’t think the paper, under Sam Getts’ leadership, would do the same today).

    It’s unfair, yes, and it’s smear, to spread rumors, but it’s not smear, and not unfair, to make these kinds of observations about the facts.

    Does this make me partisan? I still like Rep. John Duncan of TN for opposing the war on traditionally conservative grounds, Senator Olympia Snowe for opposing Exxon’s disinformation campaign, and John McCain for opposing torture, and also opposing Bush signing statements that would nullify anti-torture legislation. They’re all Republicans. I’m still critical of Pelosi for keeping impeachment off the table, and of all the Democrats who knew about the torture techniques being used and said nothing. I’m passionate about certain issues, but I’m not partisan. Call me what you like.

    December 19, 2007
  44. BruceWMorlan said:

    John, I am not amazed at the low numbers, only the Republicans had a need to be at the polls (unless the Dems and/or Inds feared a write-in vote might bump the chosen candidate). As for general rates, I know that Minnesota seems to do well enough, so I guess we are either very civics oriented or very ticked off at the incumbents. Actual numbers are certainly available. Since I just ran the stats I know that about 70% of the registered voters in 25B voted for the state representative position in the 2006 election.
    Note that, as a mathematician, I am explicit in my claim, unlike a statistician, who might leap to conclude that 70% is the answer to the question how many vote in elections? Reminds me of an old joke … ask me at the Contented Cow sometime.

    December 19, 2007
  45. It would be neat to see more questions asked about candidates’ abilities and knowledge, i.e., competence

    What do they know about financial theories and what experience do they have to back those theories up.

    When they work a plan, provided they have one at all, do they have a back up plan?
    Is their overall philosophy all about a band aid approach to problem solving or can the solutions survive beyond the next election?

    Will he/she represent the majority of his district or is he or she playing for some other orchestra?

    I would like to see answers longer than 30 seconds and I would like to hear their stories about how things come to pass in the district and in the hallsof govt. If a man or woman has no stories, they weren’t there.

    December 19, 2007
  46. Tracy Davis said:

    Anne, this is off topic, but to your comment above that Locally Grown seems to be silent after the Everett report was released Monday night – stay tuned! We’ve got plenty to say, we’ve just all been very busy. It’ll be the featured topic on the audio show today.

    December 19, 2007
  47. Paul Fried said:

    Jane and John:
    It seems you two got off on a tangent related to litigation, when, if what one says is damaging, the first issue is the damage, not whether a lawsuit is on the way….

    Tracy:
    I haven’t said so yet, but I think it was great of you to post the LWV letter at the start of this thread. That’s one of the reasons why I won’t even try to guess how you’ll vote. The LWV letter raises some good questions about timing: If the judiciary opening was vacant for a while, as others have noted, it seems politically calculated. I appreciate your posting it even if you won’t join us for lunch.

    John:
    Way back in post #9, you said,

    The fact that Iowa votes in just a few days, and we are going to be bombarded by the media for the next year, is enough to make you want to move away, or find a cave somewhere. I almost feel that the media has already decided who we should vote for anyway.

    Have you heard or read how the media or other parties may be doing this, before we’ve even had a primary? The constant emphasis on who raises the most money, which assumes that we have the best democracy money can buy? Or people who meddle with even those figures by donating large sums to the candidates they think can be beat most easily? (Like those with a middle name of “Hussein”?) This is a tangent from the special election topic, so maybe we should touch on it at lunch….

    December 19, 2007
  48. Curt Benson said:

    Paul, Pawlenty appointed five judges the same day he appointed Neuville–November 27th, I think. I don’t know how long the other judiciary slots were vacant. I don’t know the reasoning behind announcing them in a batch. Is it reasonable to think that the only reason for the timing was to give Cox a hypothetical edge over Dahle by possibly diminishing the college vote a bit? I don’t know–maybe.

    In any case, I think the timing issue has been overblown. It’s time to focus on who can be the best senator now.

    (BTW, I’m leaning towards voting for Dahle–but looking forward to hearing the candidates tomorrow night.)

    December 19, 2007
  49. Paul Fried said:

    Curt: I don’t assume that giving Ray a hypothetical edge was “the only reason,” naw. Pawlenty never seemed the Buddhist-type who would do a single thing at at time and strive to do it well, living fully in the here-and-now, etc. I think he’s a multi-tasker (Bush and Cheney are like that too). We might assume he may have had a list of reasons and considered his options carefully, but I don’t think we should assume he left considerations about Ray off that list. And “overblown”? May seem that way to those who have an ear to the ground about the election, otherwise to those who don’t. But yes, time to focus on who can be best.

    December 20, 2007
  50. Amber Iwanski said:

    Does anyone know if the following is a “real” email. If so, is it suppose to be representative of Carleton Democrats? Evan Rowe #26 provides a professional comment and not the full blasted anger (pettiness?) of the following:

    From: “Pablo D. Kenney”
    Date: December 9, 2007 5:22:41 AM CST
    To: carletondemocrats
    Subject: [CarlDems] republicans don’t want you to vote (Happy New Year)

    Welcome to the election year.

    In a year full of election glee and mirth, the Carleton Democrats will kick off the year protecting our senate seat in a Special Election on January 3rd .

    Governor Pawlenty scheduled this election on the earliest possible voting day because he doesn’t want YOU to vote.The republicans are counting on winning this seat through deceit and inertia.
    They’re counting on you to sit this one out.

    They`re even running the same candidate that WE defeated in 2006.

    How can we fight back?
    We need a coordinated and strong response of voting, education, and volunteers. We need to show that we will fight for our seat, for our values, and for our vote.

    What do we need from you?

    1)your vote. minnesota has same day registration and all Carleton students are eligible to vote. This is a close election and with few exceptions we need your vote here more than where you are currently voting. If you have any questions about this please contact me (kenneyp)

    2) your knowledge. The republicans are counting on us to be unaware.What are you voting for and who are you voting for?
    First, this election is important because it will provide a real DFL majority in the state senate. This will allow the Democrats in Minnesota to fight back against the governor`s “GOP machine” proposals.
    Kevin Dahle is the DFL endorsed candidate running for this seat. (Running against Ray “lost in ’06” Cox). Dahle has been a teacher at Northfield high school and a strong citizen in the Northfield community. He has been a teacher for over 24 years and has taught many of our fellow Carls.

    TELL YOUR FRIENDS!

    3) your time. The more volunteers we have on January 3rd, the more people we can get to the polls. We will have voting vans and we will be tabling in Sayles and need people to do this. It is the first day of classes, and if there is any day to skip and for any reason–this is it. Please reply to this email if you can volunteer any of your time. This is a really important election and we need every person we can get. Let me know when you are available and what you are interested in doing (publicity, tabling, working on campus/northfield).

    January 3, 2008